April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month. For presenter and commercial model Linda E., every day is about raising awareness for Parkinson’s disease. In this interview, I ask Linda why this cause is so close to her heart, about her upcoming fundraising event with Parkinson’s UK on April 28th, 2023, and her fight for greater diversity in her industry.
Interview with Linda E.
You might recognize Linda E. from her modeling work with Adidas, F&F, No7, and other big brands. She is also a popular presenter and host based in the UK. You might have seen her in BBC1’s This Is MY House (Season 1) too.
She’s used to being in the spotlight. Now, she’s using her celebrity status to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease. She will host The Linda E. Spring Soirée event to benefit Parkinson’s UK, raising funds for research to find a cure. Let’s get to the interview.
Why are you so passionate about raising support and encouraging research for Parkinson’s UK, Linda E.?
This is a cause that is really important to me, as my Dad had Parkinson’s. Unfortunately, he passed away after a brave battle in 2018. That was when I first started donating to the cause, and this year I have amped up my efforts to spread awareness.
I firstly want to make him proud and show him that something beautiful came from his struggle. And I also want to let others know who may be living with the condition or have loved ones with the condition that there are help and resources available.
I’m so sorry for your loss. I admire what you are doing. What is something you wish more people knew about Parkinson’s disease?
I wish people knew what the journey of someone with the condition looked like, no two days are the same, some days are better than others. It’s crazy that Parkinson’s is the world’s fastest growing neurological condition that still doesn’t have a cure.
That is why fundraising events like yours are so important! Volunteering is another important way to support research. You are involved with the Parkinson’s UK REiR team. What is this team’s purpose?
I am so proud to be a part of this team, its purpose is to improve diversity and inclusion when it comes to research. We really underestimate the impact that not having a wide pool of people from different ages and ethnicities have on the quality of research in health care.
The group recently put on an event in Brixton, in collaboration with the MS Society and Alzheimer’s, targeting the African/Caribbean community who are underrepresented to help provide them with access to information and resources to assist with living well with these conditions. The group brainstorms ideas that we then work in collaboration with other teams to implement.
Along with raising awareness and funds for Parkinson’s, and equal representation in research, you are also fighting for greater diversity in your industry. Can you please share a bit about that?
Absolutely, so I am a presenter and commercial model – I have always wanted to do something creative so I am so blessed to call it my career. The industry has come a long way when it comes to representation and diversity, but there is still a long way to go.
Sometimes when I’m on set I might be the only woman, the only woman of colour, or the only curvy woman there. And although people are really lovely, it is something that I do see. I do believe you sometimes can’t be what you don’t see, so I use my platform to post a lot of the jobs that I do, to show people that it is possible and that we deserve to take up these spaces and have access to these opportunities.
On days when the world overwhelms you, how do you center yourself?
I pray a lot; I pray when I’m happy, I pray when I’m scared, and I pray when I’m angry. So, speaking to God truly helps bring peace to me.
I also love watching shows and movies; anything with superheroes or the supernatural (so vampires, werewolves, witches, etc), and I absolutely love music. I always have a playlist going when I am in the shower, whether my fiancé’s ears like it or not. He and my family and very close friends are also what help me when the world feels overwhelming.
What would you say to a woman entering your industry that you wish someone had told you?
I wish someone had told me to have thick skin, not compare myself and keep going. I feel like I wasted and still waste too much energy on the jobs that I don’t get, jobs that other people get, and what is wrong with me. When I should be using that energy to look for and create opportunities and celebrate my wins.
Positive energy! On that uplifting note, April 28th is The Linda E. Spring Soirée event for Parkinson’s UK! What can attendees expect from the night’s event?
Oh, I am so excited about this- attendees are really in for a treat. It’s on the 28th of April at Kindred in London. There will be a drinks reception, nibbles, performers, luxury raffles (with about 8 different prizes), goodie bags for everyone, and most importantly, a panel discussion to help provide more awareness into what it’s like living with Parkinson, and also resources.
Who are the event headliners? I assume you will be the host of the night!
Ha-ha, yes, I am definitely hosting! The incredible Nqobile is performing; she is an incredible artist. model and dancer who has danced for the likes of Drake and Rihanna). The Grime Violinist will also be gracing the stage; she is so talented at combining violin with genres like rap and Afrobeats and has collaborated with the likes of Mr Eazi and Lethal Bizzle. We will also have a DJ set from Mister Bounce, who is just phenomenal and has shared the stage with DJ Jazzy Jeff and Burna Boy.
Will funds go toward research?
So every single penny goes directly to Parkinson’s UK. That means ticket sales, any donations on the night, and even a percentage of the bar.
What else Linda E. wants to tell you about the Spring Soirée event
This is honestly such an amazing cause and we are working so hard to make it an incredible event, that will be beneficial to people- but also fun!
Get your ticket for Linda E.’s Spring Soirée to benefit Parkinson’s UK
For all info and tickets, head over to the official event page at the Parkinson’s UK website here. Click on the “Book your tickets now” button to get yours. Tickets are just £25. The event is April 28th, 2023, at 7 pm at Kindred, Hammersmith.
Find details about the night’s presenters, the included goody bags, contact details, and more through the event page. The Parkinson’s UK website is also an excellent resource for support and getting involved with the registered charity.
Connect with Linda E. online
Find her on social media! Keep up with LInda E. on Instagram at @imlindae
She is also on TikTok as @iamlindae. Finally, learn more about Linda E. on her self-titled website www.lindae.co.uk
Thank you Linda E. for sharing your experiences on the When Women Inspire platform. You are bringing awareness to Parkinson’s disease, using your voice to raise funds to help find a cure in the upcoming event, and also contributing to DEI efforts. I have no doubt that you are helping many people.
Top photo credit: Tara Moore.